Women as a 'mirror' for knights and clerics: women as an example of how men should behave
Extract A: From Book 2, chapter 124 of Perceforest
Women as a danger to men; women soothe the savage beast
Extract B: From Guiron le Courtois, written in France between 1235 and 1239.
How do you know that it is a woman?
Cross-dressing in Guiron le Courtois: man into woman
Extract C: The Morholt as a woman.
Extract D: King Ban of Benoic as a woman.
Extract E: The Good and Fearless Knight as a woman
Cross dressing in Perceforest: woman into man
Extract F: the bad maiden dressed as a man
Extract G: the good maiden dressed as a man
Cross dressing in the Hundred Years War: man into woman
Walter de Manny attacks Mortagne
Further examples of cross-dressing in medieval literature
Women dressed as men
Men dressed as women
Women may use violence in a right cause.
Women may fight to defend their children's rights or their husband's rights.
Women may fight when they have been given authority to do so: e.g., they are acting on behalf of their husbands.
Other sources on medieval women using force
Picture supplied by Corel.